Christmas comes early for Pasco lover of Corvettes

BY GEOFF FOX
The Pasco Tribune staff
Published: December 14, 2014


LAND O’ LAKES, FL — Yes, Kevin Helmintoller’s only daughter is getting married soon.

And it’s true that Christmas is less than two weeks away.

But Helmintoller, a 50-year-old corporate accountant, has something else on his mind: a brand new torch-red Corvette C7 Z06, with a 6.2-liter, V8 engine that could launch him from zero to 60 mph down a race track in 2.95 seconds.

“My wife’s been raising hell about this, because of the timing,” Helmintoller said. “She’s like, ‘Your daughter gets married a week from this Sunday, and all you ever talk about is the car.’ ”

Helmintoller picked up his latest Corvette on Friday at the Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The factory is across the street from the National Corvette Museum, where Helmintoller donated his last Corvette: a 2001 Mallett Hammer Conversion model.

What happened to the donated Corvette made international news in February, when it, along with several other Corvettes, was swallowed by a 40-by-60-foot sinkhole that opened beneath the museum.

Helmintoller’s donated Corvette was the last one pulled from the sinkhole in April. By then, the torch-red paint was covered with brown earth, and the once-mighty machine resembled a massive piece of chewed gum.

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